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Today’s Polls: Bad news for both Dems in Virginia

If the old adage about burying bad news on a Friday afternoon is correct, then perhaps Scott Rasmussen was trying to soften the blow for the Democrats. His new poll of Virginia — presently available only on video — shows McCain with an 11 point lead over Barack Obama and a 22 point lead over Hillary Clinton.

Virginia is one of Obama’s more important states; it’s an essential part of any kind of Plan B that involves him winning the election without carrying a state like Pennsylvania. Previous polling of the state had been more encouraging to him, including a Survey USA poll released last week that showed him a percentage point ahead of McCain. Still, his win percentage there has dropped from 46% to 35% on this survey.

Clinton, meanwhile, looks like she will not win Virginia except in a landslide; the state has dropped entirely off of her Swing State list.

It does seem, by the way, that Rasmussen has generally had harsher news for the Democrats than Survey USA. Chris Bowers has an interesting theory about this, suggesting that McCain may have a hidden advantage in robopolls like Rasmussen because they are less likely to be susceptible to the Wilder Effect (the existence of which, for the record, I am at most agnostic about). This doesn’t quite work when comparing Rasmussen to Survey USA, since Survey USA is a robopoll too, but Chris’s column is worth a read.

BTW, I’ve now included a small box along the left-hand side of the page indicating the last time the charts and graphs were updated, as well as the number of days until the election.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.